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May 12, 2017
Rooming house owners charged by Toronto Fire Services for Ontario Fire Code violations
Charges for Ontario Fire Code violations have been laid against the owners of a Toronto rooming house where a fire resulted in a fatality.

Toronto Fire Services responded to a residential fire at 177 Elmhurst Ave. on November 30, 2016. The fire resulted in the death of a female occupant.

Due to the fatality and significant fire damage, an investigation was conducted by the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management and Toronto Fire Services.

Toronto Fire Prevention staff conducted a post-fire inspection to determine compliance with the Ontario Fire Code. The inspection confirmed the building was being occupied as a rooming house.

A number of fire code violations were noted, including:
• breaches in fire separations
• absence of a fire-alarm system, and
• absence of an approved fire-safety plan for the building.

Toronto Fire Services has laid charges in Provincial Offences Court against the registered owners of the house, Thevathurai Akilan, Balatharshini Akilan and AKS Rental Management Inc.

Following the incident, fire prevention staff identified and conducted fire safety inspections at additional properties owned by the accused at 45 Irvington Cres. and 57 Farmcrest Dr. The fire safety inspections confirmed the buildings were occupied as multi-unit residential buildings and revealed numerous violations of the Ontario Fire Code. As a result, additional charges have been laid against Thevathurai Akilan and Balatharshini Akilan for both properties and AKS Rental Management Inc. for 45 Irvington Cres.

Violations of the Ontario Fire Code pose a serious risk to building occupants and responding firefighters. The penalties for violations run up to $50,000 and/or a year in jail for individuals and up to $100,000 for a corporation.

Toronto Fire Services continues to work to reduce risk through fire prevention and enforcement strategies against owners who fail to meet the Ontario Fire Code and jeopardize the safety of individuals and responding fire fighters. Toronto Fire Services is committed to ensuring that appropriate measures are taken by property owners to achieve fire safety through compliance with the Ontario Fire Code and the Fire Protection and Prevention Act.

Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. In 2017, Toronto will honour Canada's 150th birthday with "TO Canada with Love," a year-long program of celebrations, commemorations and exhibitions. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on Twitter at and on Instagram at

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